Kukla's Korner

Draper Feeling The Special Atmosphere

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Detroit Free Press,

For now, though, the Wings will host only one Eastern Conference division per season. Tonight is one of those fortunate times, with the Toronto Maple Leafs coming to town. The Leafs are 0-5-1 in their past six games and have been outscored, 18-2, in the third periods during that stretch. But they're an Original Six team, and for Toronto-area native Kris Draper, it doesn't get much better. "I really enjoy playing Toronto," he said Friday. "I think my dad gets a little bit more excited for this game than I do, taking on all his buddies back home in Toronto. It's fun. I've said it before: It's unfortunate that we don't play these guys more often. I know there's a pretty good buzz going around the Joe with the Leafs coming in. You expect a real good atmosphere, and those are the games that are fun to be a part of. We know they're struggling, but when they come in here and it's Detroit-Toronto, there's so much history and so much pride in both organizations, it's a fun game to be a part of."
read on... and it is a shame, two teams only 4 hours apart, don't play each other more often...

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Spezza & Heatley Working Again

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Ottawa Citizen,

Spezza and Heatley are, were and into the future shall be, the Senators' one-two offensive threat. Brothers in hockey, Spezza is Frick to Heatley's Frack. They do everything together: hang out ("Church bingos," Spezza says with a wink), dine at each others' homes, watch hockey games and highlights, track league scoring stats ... oh, and score goals by the bunch. In the early season, those were losses that were coming in bunches. Pressure was building to bust up last season's deadliest pair in the Eastern Conference.
more

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Blueliner With The One-Liners

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Columbus Dispatch,

One-liners fly from the northwest corner of the Blue Jackets locker room, where Anders Eriksson has a seat next to the goaltenders. What a wall that is: two goalies and Bubba. Where’s Shemp? When Eriksson showed off a new spandex undershirt, he said, "What do you think? Superman, right? " After Rick Nash was slashed in a sensitive area, Eriksson said, "He took one in the next generation." When Eriksson was named the first star of the game in Colorado the other night, he said, "I finally found a guy who knows what he’s talking about."
continued

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Dmen Don’t Have Many Options

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Palm Beach Post,

Although defensemen say they're learning what they can and can't get away with "and un-learning what they've done their entire careers," they also say offensive players have learned to make the most of stricter enforcement by embellishing. "It's becoming more and more like soccer," Van Ryn said. "I've seen it a million times: If you get your stick anywhere around a guy's waist, they're grabbing your stick and falling down. "When you see guys who made a living standing in front of the net, taking hacks and whacks, and now they're diving, it's sad to see."
more

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14 Games On The Slate

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

A big day of hockey begins at 3pm today with the Rangers taking on the Senators. Make sure the DVR is ready to go and the batteries are charged for the remote.

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Would Leafs Move Sundin

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun,

The scariest part of this Leafs muddle is that there is no clear solution. The very real fear is the team will have to get worse before it gets better, because the traditional methods of improving your stock have only limited effectiveness in a salary cap era.... Yes, Sundin has a no-trade clause, but if he was faced with the possibility of moving to a Stanley Cup contender, who is to say he wouldn't waive it? In February, he will be 36 and it's a safe bet, given the current state of the Leafs, that he won't be a part of any Stanley Cup run here. Before he runs out of gas or decides to retire, it might be wise for the Leafs to try to get at last something for the future.
more

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More Foot Problems For Foppa

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from the Delco Times,

Forsberg will undergo an extensive evaluation at Temple University Monday and then will fly to Montreal Wednesday to meet with representatives of the Bauer equipment company in hopes of constructing a skate boot that will fit his foot and allow him to play at or near his expected level. "I wouldn’t do any good on the ice," said Forsberg. "It feels like I can’t turn..For my own safety too..I don’t think it’ll be good until we find a skate that gets better and we find a skate that’s at least close to where I should be and can keep my balance. Right now it doesn’t feel like that at all." Forsberg backed out of the lineup after the team’s Friday morning practice at Continental Airlines Arena.
read on

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Blues Upset With Ilitch

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Mlive,

"We have more of a concern about the owner of the Detroit Red Wings going down to escort the officials off the ice to their dressing room during the (first) intermission," Davidson said. "That defies the spirit of the game. We think as an organization that that was wrong. A Hall-of-Fame owner decides to have a conversation with the officials during a game. It's our opinion that's not right, and we hope the league addresses it." The league spoke to Ilitch on Friday and an NHL official said the Blues are blowing the incident out of proportion. Wings general manager Ken Holland declined comment on the matter.
more

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It’s A Trap!

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

By George Malik TSN's Darren Dreger delves into the recent accusations that the NHL's crackdown on obstruction has weakened:

Over the past few weeks a number of NHL coaches and managers have observed what they call a "shift" in how the game is being called. Some are being even more specific by saying less is being called now than prior to last month's general manager's meeting where the topic was openly discussed. The brain-trust inside the NHL's hockey operations department grimace at the mere suggestion the league is backing off the standard. Statistically, penalties have declined marginally compared to last year and so has goal scoring, by less than half a goal. Is this a big deal?

Continue Reading »

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Isles Get Serious About Filling Seats

Blog: KK Hockey By George Malik

from Kara Yorio of the Sporting News:

The organization is offering a special program to anyone who purchases a 6- or 23-game package in the next few days. Next week, those fans can meet Islanders legend Mike Bossy and get his autograph, get a tour of the Islanders locker room from an Islanders player, have their picture taken with injured captain Yashin, spend some time talking to general manager and former Isles goalie Garth Snow and visit with Nolan in his office. Who knows how many people will put out the cash for the packages for those special privileges. Isles fans have been burned in they past. They are probably waiting for the other shoe to drop on this team. There has been excitement surrounding this team recently. Peter Laviolette seemed to have things turned around but that devolved into chaos soon enough. Now there's Nolan and his followers wearing the orange and blue. He is making the most of his second chance for sure and he should win his second straight Jack Adams Trophy if he can keep it up. Consecutive coach of the year awards - with a decade in between.
continued

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